Pirates Name Matt Fraizer Minor League Player-of-the-Year
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced Matt Fraizer(Greensboro Grasshoppers) as the organization’s Honus Wagner Player-of-the-Year and Adrian Florencio as the organization’s Bob Friend Pitcher-of-the-Year. The announcement completes the Club’s Young Bucs Awards Week celebration.
The 23-year-old Fraizer led all Pirates minor leaguers with at least 350 plate appearances in batting average (.306), on-base percentage (.388), slugging percentage (.552), OPS (.939), hits (133), total bases (240) and runs scored (84) while finishing second in home runs (23) and extra base hits (55), tied for second in triples (six) and third in doubles (26).
Fraizer was named the High-A East League Most Valuable Player last month as well as the organization’s Player-of-the-Year by Baseball America.
The left-handed hitting Fraizer ended the 2021 campaign ranked first in the High-A East League in batting (.314), OBP (.401), slugging (.578) and OPS (.979), while also being named to the High-A East League post-season All-Star team as an outfielder despite playing in a total of 75 games with Greensboro before being promoted to Double-A Altoona on August 5.
Fraizer also finished 15th in all of MiLB in total bases (240) despite not playing since September 19 after Altoona’s season ended. He ended the year by hitting a combined .306 (133-for-435) with 26 doubles, six triples, 23 home runs, 68 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .388 OBP, .552 slugging percentage and .939 OPS in 112 games between Greensboro and Altoona.
The Pirates selected Fraizer in the third round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arizona.
The 23-year-old Florencio led all Pirates minor leaguers with 117 strikeouts during the 2021 season. He spent the entire campaign with the Low-A Southeast League champion Bradenton Marauders, where he went 6-4 with a 2.46 ERA (95.0ip/26er), 30 walks, 117 strikeouts, .198 batting average against and 1.05 WHIP in 20 appearances (19 starts).
Florencio was named the Low-A Southeast League’s Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2021 to become the first full-season Low-A Pirates farmhand to take home Pitcher-of-the-Year honors since Mitch Keller was named the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher in 2016 while playing for the West Virginia Power. Florencio was also named to the Southeast League’s post-season All-Star team as the right-handed starter.
Florencio led all Southeast League pitchers in strikeouts while finishing fourth in innings pitched and tied for fourth in games started. He also ranked first in the Southeast League in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (11.08), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.90), home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (0.47), strikeout percentage (29.8), WHIP (1.05) and Fielding Independent Pitching (3.25) among pitchers with at least 90.0 innings of work. He also finished with the second-lowest Batting Average On Balls In Play (.280) and walk percentage (7.6) among all pitchers in the league with at least 90.0 innings of work.
The Pirates signed Florencio as a non-drafted free agent on February 20, 2019. He made his professional debut in the Pirates organization with rookie-level Bristol of the Appalachian League in 2019 and went 2-1 with a 4.75 ERA (47.1ip/25er) and 38 strikeouts in 11 appearances (11 starts).